EXPOSE s a facility grouping a set of experiments dedicated to exobiology.

Position of the EuTEF on the International Space Station

Position of the EuTEF on the Columbus module

Position of the equipments on the EuTEF

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The project main steps


EXPOSE is an equipment dedicated to exobiology, developed by ESA for medium to long term flights, installed outside the International Space Station.
The equipment conceived to allow exposure of chemical and biological samples whilst recording data on temperature and effective duration of exposition. It is installed on one of the ISS external balconies.

Two EXPOSE equipments have been developed: EXPOSE-E and EXPOSE-R. EXPOSE-E is installed on the European module Columbus, and more particularly, on EuteF platform, while EXPOSE-R is installed on the Russian module Zevzda.
Each of these EXPOSE facilities includes several simultaneous experiments. The different experiments consist in exposing solid molecules, gas mixtures or biological samples to the radiations in space, to space vacuum and to temperature fluctuations.

EXPOSE-R equipment  One EXPOSE vibration test

EXPOSE-E experiments are:

  • Process, study of solar UV effects on amino acids and other organic compounds placed in terrestrial orbit.
  • Adapt, study of radiations effect on micro-organisms in analogues to meteoritic matter.
  • Protect, study of spores resistance to space conditions, and their ability to recover from the damages done by such an exposition.
  • Life, study of radiations effect on lichens, mushrooms and symbiotes.
  • Seeds, exposition of seeds to space conditions and study of their ability to resist to radiations.
  • Dosis, Dobis & R3D, radiations and radiance sensors.

EXPOSE-R experiments are:

  • Amino, study of solar UV effects on amino acids and other organic compounds placed in terrestrial orbit.
  • Endo, study of radiations effect on endolithic micro-organisms (living under rock surface).
  • Osmo, study of the exposition of osmophilic micro-organismes (living in medium highly concentrated in sugar) to space environment.
  • Spores, study of spores placed inside artificial meteorites.
  • Photo, study of solar radiation effect on genetic material of spores.
  • Subtil, study of mutagen effect of space environment on bactery spores (Bacillus subtilis).
  • Pur, study of space environment effect on T7 phage, its DNA and of polycristalline uracil.
  • Organic, study of the evolution of organic matter placed in space.
  • IMBP, exposition of terrestrial organisms in a matent state.

CNES participation to EXPOSE consists particularly in supporting the development of PROCESS and AMINO experiments. CNES has also financialy supported SEEDS experiment.

Latest update 25/06/2012
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June 21, 2012
Results from PROCESS experiment in EXPOSE-E
Article on CNES website (in French)
Article on ESA website
November 8, 2010
Another result from a similar experiment to EXPOSE ones: Are carbonates stable on Mars surface? (in French)
Article on CNES website (in French)
June 1st, 2010
A result from a very similar experiment to EXPOSE ones, foreshadowing the future results: Could the solar radiation deteriorate the organic matter on Mars surface? (in French)
March 10, 2009
ESA's EXPOSE-R nine experiments have been installed outside the Russian part of the International Space Station.
November 26, 2008
Expose-R facility leave the Earth to reach the International Space Station.

EXPOSE equipment

Samples carrier